March 15, 2014
Founded in Angers, France by singer-keyboardist Denis Péan and violinist and kora player Richard Bourreau, Lo'Jo's musical adventurism is the stuff of legend. The globe-trotting French daredevils have traveled the world for 30 years, playing in remote outposts, soaking up sounds, and founding the annual Festival in the Desert in northern Mali with Tuareg rockers Tinariwen. The six-member band plays funky, dubbed-up chansons laced with a bewildering variety of jazz, pop, reggae, circus, cabaret, klezmer, Roma, West African, and Maghrebian traditions. Péan’s rough-edged Tom Waits–like voice contrasts beautifully with those of sisters Yamina and Nadia Nid el Mourid for a sound that’s totally unclassifiable but utterly enthralling.